Posts for February 6, 2013

D.C. Shooter Intended to Use Chick-fil-A Sandwiches to Send ‘Statement’

The 28-year-old Virginia man who opened fire inside the headquarters of the conservative Christian lobbying and policy group in downtown Washington, D.C., last August was carrying fifteen Chick-fil-A sandwiches "he planned to smear in the dying faces of staffers he expected to kill," according to documents filed today in U.S. District Court, CNN reports.

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This Doctor Who-Themed Restaurant Really Needs to Happen

Exterminate! Exterminate! Broil for four minutes on high!Photo: W.H. Allen & Co PLC

Sure, the steampunkish Way Station in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, gives customers access to the bathroom through a TARDIS, but we can do better than that. Interestingly enough, an entire Doctor Who restaurant may become a reality, the Independent reports, because the fourteen-acre BBC Television Centre at White City is renovated into a very large visitor center celebrating all the series once filmed there. "Among the ideas so far," the paper reports, "are attractions based on Fawlty Towers, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Blue Peter, Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing." A Great British Bake Off bakery has been suggested as well, which sounds fine, but really, it's been 50 years now, and since Doctor Who fandom has spawned its own distinct and scholarly food culture, shouldn't the daleks have a clean, well-lit white tablecloth place of their own? [Independent UK]

15 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Chances of Getting Cast on Top Chef Season 11

Padma's not sure about this.Photo: David Giesbrecht/Bravo

Pack your knives and stay: The Bravo show will come back for at least one more season, Deadline reports, which means more tempers, more Tom, more Padma, and, hopefully for all of us here at Grub Street, more Rees. No word on where the next Top Chef will take place, but casting begins next week in Austin. The details — including open calls in L.A., Chicago, Brooklyn, Vegas, and Miami — are here, but if you haven't been working on your mother sauces since the fall and you aren't currently a junior sous-chef at an enormous Asian fusion restaurant, what can you do to improve your chances of getting onboard the S.S. Watch What Happens?

Some ideas. »

Now Open: Chili Szechuan, Serving Tongue-Blistering Spiciness and ‘Americanized’ Dishes In West Philly

Fired up on Baltimore Ave.

Looks like Han “the Man” Chiang no longer corners the market on face-melting, spicy Szechuan in West Philly with his Han Dynasty branch at 37th and Market streets. Upstart Chili Szechuan, which replaced A Green Garden at 4626 Baltimore Ave. last week is now also bringing the fearsome fire of dry pot, dry pepper and enough hot chili oil to melt a polar ice cap to West Philly’s gastro-thrill seekers. But fear not, the new spot also has an “Amercanized” section on its menu for the heat averse. It’s open for lunch and dinner daily, from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Chili Szechuan, 4626 Baltimore Ave., (215) 662-0888

Mixing Diet Soda With Booze Makes You Extra Drunk

Someone get this man a Diet Coke.Photo: iStockphoto

Here's an angle Marc Jacobs should play up in his new Diet Coke campaign: A new study from Northern Kentucky University, where there's probably plenty of time to experiment with such things, reveals that pairing alcohol with diet soda will render you more drunk than if you mixed it with boring, obesity-inducing regular soda. Apparently the sugar found in typical soda slows alcohol absorption. In fact, your breath-alcohol content could shoot up by as much as 18 percent if you use diet soda as a mixer, so you should probably set down the Fresca and vodka before hopping behind the wheel. [Salt/NPR, Related]

Liquor Store Privatization Plan Doesn’t Add Up For Schools

Could a fire sale save school funding?

It was only a matter of time before the other shoe dropped in the latest chapter of the ongoing liquor store privatization saga. Last week Governor Tom Corbett unveiled his bold vision for unloading the state’s 600-plus Wine & Spirits Shops, touting that sales of liquor licenses to private enterprises would generate as much as $1 billion that he pledged would go to Pennsylvania’s embattled and grossly underfunded public schools. Now education advocates are getting their say, and what they are saying is, the plan just doesn’t add up.

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Death of Print Journalism? There’s a Beer for That

Not available in stores.Photo: Jon Campbell

Former Hartford Advocate reporter Jon Campbell is now living the life of a freelancer, and between assignments he's been homebrewing up a pithy, malted barley beer that's as "dark and bitter as the future of American journalism." It's a foamy beer for the heady age of buy-outs and layoffs, and on his blog, Campbell explains that he's also been keeping busy by "making some very elaborate labels."

Beer for breakfast. »

There May Be a Few Stray Nanoparticles in Your Morning Doughnut

The ever-expanding scope of manufacturing, packaging, and production methods may very well mean that in addition to monitoring the salt, sugar, and fat content in their diet, consumers might as well also start fretting about the presence of possibly deleterious chemicals known as nanomaterials in their food. The Times reports that an advocacy group called As You Sow surveyed a staggering 25,000 companies on their nanomaterials usage, but just 26 of them responded. Of those companies, only fourteen — including PepsiCo, Whole Foods, and Yum! Brands — said they do not use nanomaterials. So, is it time to head for the nano-free hills?

What you should worry about. »

Zama Opening a Second Location Near Drexel

Zama

The restaurant action near Drexel is heating up. Just on the heels of Shack Shake’s announcement that it’s bringing its burgers to Chestnut Square, Drexel University's redevelopment efforts at 3200 Chestnut, comes word of Zama chef-owner Hiroyuki "Zama" Tanaka’s plans to open a restaurant there too. Insider reports that Tanaka signed a lease on a two-story space that will house his 140-seat Japanese restaurant. Preliminary deets have a menu of yakitori, dumplings, and noodles in the works. Along with Shake Shack, the still unnamed restaurant will be joined by NY export Joe Coffee at the address. The opening is slated for the fall. No doubt its rise will bring long-overdue Royal Sushi & Izakaya, and Stephen Starr’s forthcoming joint venture with Peter Serpico some competition. [Insider; Earlier]

Marc Jacobs Is Diet Coke’s New Creative Director

Body by Diet Coke.Photo: Stéphane Sednaoui/Diet Coke

The oft-naked, tattoo-covered fashion designer, who's the yin to Taylor Swift's yang, is designing Diet Coke cans and posing in the corresponding ad campaigns. Jacobs claims he guzzles two or three Diet Cokes a day — which can't be healthy, but day-um, those abs above are about to turn 50. More details will emerge about the “Sparkling Together for 30 Years” collaboration in March, but expect Jacobs's work to be far sexier than Coke's recent anti-obesity ad. He sure can sell a six-pack. [Earlier, Earlier, WWD]

Vetri Opening a Pizzeria Near the Barnes Foundation

Marc Vetri

He’s been immortalized with a pizza that bears his name in Brooklyn, and continues turning out an impressive selection of pies of his own at Osteria, so it only seems natural that one day Marc Vetri would ultimately open his own pizzeria. And that day is coming sooner than anyone had previously thought. Yesterday, the chef’s chef tweeted a photo of a signed lease on a property that will soon be home to his Pizzeria Vetri. It’s going into The Granary, the 227-unit, mixed use complex coming together at 1939 Callowhill Street, just across the way from the Barnes Foundation. Word on the street is, the Vetri family will offer wood-fired pizzas, beers, and not a whole lot more. The target for opening is sometime this coming summer. [Marc Vetri/Twitter]

Jennifer Lawrence Is a Budweiser Gal

The biggest actress in Hollywood right now hit Conan last night. While there, she revealed that at the Silver Linings Playbook premiere, her dad had shed tears after her monologue beside Robert De Niro. "It had nothing to do with my performance," she told Conan. "It's because I pop a Budweiser" — apparently a Lawrence family favorite. When Conan mentions that her beer plug is sure to result in a bunch of free Bud, Lawrence lights up. But it sounds like somebody needs to send this girl a couple of nice craft beers, stat.

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